Ringing the changes
- Technology ,
It's my tremendous pleasure to welcome you to this edition of Transform, my first as CEO of IEMA. It has been both an interesting and unusual career transition, very much in keeping with the times.
Instead of the usual choreography of an office move – new location, face-to-face meetings with the new team, networking over lunch – the 'office' is the same kitchen table I was sitting at in my last job. However, while my physical location may not have changed, I have very quickly felt part of the IEMA family and am delighted and honoured to be leading such a fantastic, passionate team.
Like many organisations, IEMA has moved entirely to virtual working. As lockdown begins to ease, we are now considering what a safe return to work might look like. Many of the team have found working from home a productive and rewarding experience. Combined with the reduction in the carbon involved, we are thinking hard about how we can work more flexibly in the future. This is also something that Iain Gulland from Zero Waste Scotland has considered, as you can read in our main interview this month – with some interesting insights.
The unusually sunny weather here in the UK has been a blessed relief for those of us lucky enough to have a garden or open space nearby. However, the lack of rain highlights the vulnerability of water delivery systems, not just in the UK and Europe, but also around the world. As our expert authors point out, demand for water is soon expected to outstrip supply; they consider whether a combination of technology and collaboration can help develop water's circular economy.
“We know that there will be members for whom the next few months might bring further worry and uncertainty“
While summer is traditionally a time for travel and relaxation, we know that there will be members for whom the next few months might bring further worry and uncertainty. We are working with you to find new ways of supporting you on your professional journey. I would be delighted to hear from members; please do drop me a line with any thoughts and suggestions you may have for future issues, or for the organisation more generally. May I wish you a peaceful, restful and secure summer.
The Green Homes Grant is set to deliver only a fraction of the jobs and improvements intended, leading to calls for more involvement from local authorities in future schemes.
COVID-19 recovery packages have largely focused on protecting, rather than transforming, existing industries, and have been a “lost opportunity” for speeding up the global energy transition.
None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.
The UK’s pipeline for renewable energy projects could mitigate 90% of job losses caused by COVID-19 and help deliver the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. That is according to a recent report from consultancy EY-Parthenon, which outlines how the UK’s £108bn “visible pipeline” of investible renewable energy projects could create 625,000 jobs.
Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.
The UK will no longer use unabated coal to generate electricity from October 2024, one year earlier than originally planned, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has announced.
The UK government is not on track to deliver on its promise to improve the environment within a generation and is failing to stem the tide of biodiversity loss, a damning new report from MPs has revealed.